On Monday 3rd of February 2019, a 31-year-old Austrian man from Vorarlberg received a suspended prison term of ten months, €6000 penalty, and additional €400 fine for the court proceedings.
The culprit had ordered 48 false banknotes of €50 from the darkweb. He then paid a pizza and a taxi cab with the fake euros. However, not even a month after the darknet order had been placed, police has raided the man’s residence securing the leftover fake currency. More shockingly for the prosecution, the man had a stable job with a monthly salary of €1900.
The 31-year-old Austrian defendant sitting in court. © VOL.AT / Eckert
Nobody in court has disputed the naivety of the man’s illegal actions. Pledging for a lenient sentence, defense attorney Stefan Denifl had this to declare:
“My client has a good job, leads a decent lifestyle, and regrets his rudeness very much.” He continued saying that he had fallen under temptation.
The sentence is final. According to the Austrian Penal Code, whoever knowingly inserts into circulation counterfeit money, is liable for punishment of no less than one year in prison. Furthermore, there weren’t any aggravating circumstances such as major economic damage, acting on a commercial basis, being part of a gang, or using violence. Thus, the defendant received a suspended sentence and a hefty fine.
The 30-year-old man from Innsbruck, Austria ordered 700 grams of cannabis from a dark web Dutchman to resell and consume. He sold ten grams to a 16-year-old student while in a nine-month probation period due to a past criminal record.
Attorney Martin Triendl had no easy task defending the culprit. Upon hearing the judge’s intention to punish the man to three years of incarceration, he replied:
“My client needs medical attention and no detention.”
Prosecutor Hansjörg Mayr wasn’t so easily convinced by this, unable to overlook the drug trafficking to a minor:
“This is particularly reprehensible. You noticed for yourself the addiction of using cannabis, and you still sold it to a student.”
The court was also offended by the fact that the accused continued illegal activities even on parol. Judge Andreas Mair made it short:
“You did not want to take our second chance. I’m giving you a one year in prison. Otherwise, you won’t learn!”
The accused has to spend one year in prison, pay a fine of €500 to the state, and submit to a five-year probation sentence.
Junge Bursch (photo) is a 19-year-old Austrian man from Vorarlberg who is being investigated for ordering and using counterfeit money from the darknet. His motivation for the crime was competing financially with his group of friends. However, the court affidavit states that the young man had a stable job with a salary of €1500.
“In my circle of acquaintances money played a big role,” said the 19-year-old.
The money was sent from Styria, Austria for an equivalent price in bitcoin of 145 euros which bought him 30 fake €50 banknotes. Because the suspect ordered the illegal notes from his mother’s laptop without proper security protocols, the police had little problems identifying both the buyer and the seller, who is also under penal inquiry. The Styrian counterfeiter was nicknamed “Gomorra” on the deep web and produced the bills himself in his workshop.
Junge Bursch tried to use the fake money at a bar in Feldkirch, but the barista became suspicious of the texture of the money and called the police.
Upon his arrest, the police found only 16 of the 30 fake €50 bills, the rest of the 14 banknotes are missing. Counterfeiting is punishable by up to ten years imprisonment, but the young adult is lucky as he’ll be judged as an adolescent.
“It was the stupidest idea I’ve ever had,” says the boy, who earned at least 1500 euros net monthly.
Now he has a criminal record and a sanction of six months of probation. There was also an unconditional fine of 1440 euros. However, the judgment is not final.
The Austrian man ordered ten fake €50 banknotes off the Dream Market Toplist and received three €50 notes as a bonus from the deep web merchant.
According to prosecutors, the man gave €100 to a friend and €50 to a Billa supermarket in Weigelsdorf, municipality of Ebreichsdorf. He gave the fake €100 to his friend because he owed him money and was drunk at the time, but as the culprit declares himself, they are no longer friends. The other €50 were spent in a Billa supermarket where the cashier became suspicious of the texture of the money but accepted them regardless.
“The offer appeared on the ‘Dream Market Toplist’, where you can see the latest products. I’ve seen, clicked and ordered,” the suspect declared in court.
The man had priors regarding counterfeit money and amphetamine abuse and was on probation. When the judge asked why he had made such a mistake after one year of good behavior, the accused replied:
“I soon realized that this is nonsense. I could not resist. But then I destroyed the rest of the counterfeit myself because I realized what kind of nonsense it is.”
The man admitted that he entered the darknet in search of amphetamines, but a fake money marketplace caught his eye and couldn’t resist the temptation.
The culprit received an 18-month suspended sentence thanks to his sincerity and favorable circumstances. Furthermore, he tested negative for drug use and is currently under therapy at the Green Circle.